A week after the big kids started back to school, Thomas started preschool.
He didn’t want to hold his bag like I asked; he wanted to hold this plane instead.
What a difference a year makes. Thomas went to school wearing the same shirt David wore to the first grade, and hand-me-down Crocs with slick bottoms from being used as brakes for his balance bike all summer.
Thomas has grown and (dare I say it?) matured this summer. Namely, he’s so much more confident and enthusiastic about school.
He’s always been my silly guy, my crazy dragon. He’s independent and isn’t drawn to structured activities like my other kids have. Not at home, anyway. He likes to study bugs, to spray the hose, to spend an hour watching kinetic sand fall through his hands.
Another example — he doesn’t know his colors.
Or, actually, let me rephrase. He re-named all the colors because the names we use aren’t good enough. There’s grass color, police color, Mary color, David color, golden color, and orange. If you say, “Look at that blue ball!” He’ll wrinkle his nose and look at you like you’re speaking Greek until you clarify, “I mean that police color ball.”
I think he’s going to have a great year.
Like him, I don’t feel any trepidation about the school year. I know his teacher well, and she has a big heart for silly little boys who do things like rename colors.
Plus, his class mascot this year is a dragon.
As I drop him off for the first day of his last year of preschool, I’m overtly aware that next year he will be going to kindergarten. My first-born going to kindergarten felt overwhelming, my second-born felt surreal, and that my third-born is almost ready for elementary school feels like a gut-punch.
Suddenly, all those warnings about it “going fast” make sense. I didn’t get it when I was in the newborn fog, but now that I’m at the beginning of the end I feel emotional and proud and panicked all at once.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. It goes by fast; enjoy it.
I took Anna for a run while he was in school, then let her play on a nearby playground — something I used to do with Thomas when David and Mary were in preschool.
When we went to pick him up, I asked him if he had fun at school. He let out a teenager-esque groan that I can only imagine was accompanied by rolling eyes and responded, “OF COURSE I DID!”